Airport refugee

Delta’s change in lounge policy will move me further from using them as my preferred airline. While the lounges are crowded, limiting the duration to 3 hours before departure (not boarding) will do little to alleviate the problem.

Often I occupy a spot in a lounge for a long time. Here’s a list of some of the reasons why:

  • On standby for an earlier flight
  • Traveling to the airport with others (co-workers, family, etc.) where my flight leaves after theirs
  • Bad weather inbound
  • Holiday crush
  • Delayed or canceled flight
  • Hotel checkout time
  • International travel
  • Something about my work calendar that needs me in a place with power, good wifi, and relatively low noise at a specific time unrelated to boarding
  • When I arrive, needing to wait for co-workers, family, etc. so we can carpool to the destination

The list goes on. Other business travelers and those frequently taking to the air may have others.

I have ideas for Delta (and AMEX) on how to address lounge overcrowding, at least a little bit:

  • Expand the Priority Pass access to include airport restaurant access and/or gate delivery food service
  • Have a service desk for things like standby flights, rebooking, etc. near the check-in desk
  • Staff the toll-free service numbers, social media response, and in-app chat so flyers can get fast help
  • Have separate policies for domestic and international lounge access
  • In international gateway airports, partner on a separate international lounge (like in Atlanta) and offer arrival lounge access
  • Take reservations

The list goes on. Mostly my ideas revolve around people. So far, that seems to be one area outside of investment.

It’s easier to blame customers, in the short term. How dare they use our product!

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.